Teardown of Apple's new AirPort Extreme finds enough empty space for a hard drive

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 70
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    richl wrote: »
    "Add your own HDD" kits available on eBay in 3... 2... 1....

    So buy an AE for $199. An eBay aftermarket kit and likely cheaper components. And a hard drive. :no:

    Or a 2 TB HD for $299. :smokey:

    No brainer
  • Reply 22 of 70
    carthusiacarthusia Posts: 561member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


     

    Um, no. This is nothing more than Apple not bothering to create a case specific to the Extreme. They are simply using the Time Capsule case.



    Just as I stated in the previous threads, the Time Capsule has a 3.5" hard drive mounted vertically on the diagonal (it was the only way it was going to fit). However, this space is not used for the Extreme. And if the antenna are all in the plate at the top, that means that there is no excuse for the Extreme to be as big as it is. The space wasn't used to create some fancy 3D antenna layout. Apple simply couldn't be bothered to create a more efficient case design for the Extreme. Sad.


    Not sad, just good design. According to the WDDC Keynote and Apple's Airport Extreme page: "Designed with performance in mind. With the antennas at the top of the elevated design, AirPort Extreme now has a higher platform for dispersing the signal." The height of both the Airport Extreme and Airport Time Capsule, combined with the positioning of the antennas at the top of the tower, mitigate against the type of signal obstructions that slow Wi-fi speeds. I suspect it also helps with their 'Beamforming' technology. Smart move and very much "thinking different" if you ask me.

  • Reply 23 of 70
    ksecksec Posts: 1,554member


    I would love to custom fit 2x 2.5" 2TB HDD inside with Raid 1 as an NAS.  In fact do time capsule offer this function? Or could it only be used as an backup server?

  • Reply 24 of 70
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


     

    Um, no. This is nothing more than Apple not bothering to create a case specific to the Extreme. They are simply using the Time Capsule case.

    ...


     


    In all fairness, it's more like Apple reusing the entire same design from the Time Capsule, not just the case.  I find that kind of irritating because it turns out that the main reason for the "coffee can" shape is in fact the drive and not the antennas as they kind of implied at the WWDC event.


     


    I would rather have the Extreme in the same format as the old Extreme along with the proviso to "put it up high," for better reception.  Now if a user wants a new router but doesn't need the drive, they have to buy this "heavier than it needs to be," "taller than it needs to be," and "larger than it needs to be" item with a giant empty space inside.  


     


    Personally, I've been waiting to buy this, but the teardown gives me great pause.  When you think about the fact that the Time Capsule versions have giant spinning hard drives in them, it's shaping up to be almost a "fatty nano" type of product.  A one-off design that's possibly doomed to be replaced after a single version.  


     


    Now that I've read this as well, I am almost certain that I won't be buying this product at all, even though I've been waiting for six months for it to be announced, and almost bought it yesterday sight unseen.  

  • Reply 25 of 70
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Probably not and the reason why is likely to be the same reason that there's no USB 3.0 support - the Airport Extreme's CPU/memory simply can't handle high disk throughput. It's a common problem on a lot of NAS drives.



     


    OK, so the bottleneck is processing power.


    Could a cheap ARM SOC get the job done?


    As this becomes viable, local storage can get smaller, thus laptops like the MBA can get smaller too.

  • Reply 26 of 70
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    gtr wrote: »
    It irritates me that sites like iFixit give out 'repairability' scores.
    Why?
  • Reply 27 of 70
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    Why?


     


    Not to speak for the other person, but to me, it's irritating because it's like giving a "repairability score" on a Toaster or a Video tape recorder.  It's "scoring" something that's entirely irrelevant to the device.  It's like giving a car bad marks in a review for having an automatic transmission because of some misguided old-fashioned idea that only manual transmissions are what people want.  

  • Reply 28 of 70
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post





    So buy an AE for $199. An eBay aftermarket kit and likely cheaper components. And a hard drive. image



    Or a 2 TB HD for $299. image



    No brainer


     


    In the UK, the prices are:


     


    AE: £169


    TC 2TB: £249


    TC 3TB: £349


     


    4TB drives can be had for £137. I'll let you do the sums on that. image

  • Reply 29 of 70
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    The vertical space is hardly wasted even in the airport. There is plenty of stuff crammed in on the sides of the drive bay.



    As for not having different cases, why bother? Seems like it would be throwing away money designing and manufacturing two cases. 99.9% of apples customers won't care if there is a small amount of wasted space, and while some love and some hate the new vertical design, most simply don't care. It is, after all, a wifi base station; nobody is going to sit there and admire it for its beauty.

     

    It's very un-Apple to have that much empty space. Apple prides itself on making things as small/thin as possible purely for asthetic reasons. And yes, Apple does want people to admire the looks of their products, even a wi-fi router.



    As for comments about antenna performance...perhaps Apple is stinging still from antenna-gate. LOL The main performance gain is probably getting the antennas away from the power supply which they moved inside of the case. See, Apple does want you to admire it's base station! :-) I guess the design will also discourage people from stacking things on top of it, too. I used to stack my Extreme and older model mini together. So that will help performance. Still, I'd rather have a smaller unit (lighter, less plastic, etc).



    Edit: Hm, I notice there are a few heat sinks in there, and a fan, too. Did the previous gen Extreme have a fan (mine is two gens old)? I wonder if the cooling is also a carry over from the Time Capsule, too, which may need it for the hard drive, or if the Extreme requires that much cooling. I know my Extreme runs pretty warm, but that's less of an issue than for Time Capsule with it's more senstive hard drive. I'm sure the internal power supply needs cooling, too.
  • Reply 30 of 70
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post





    Speaking of power supplies, did anyone notice where it is in the new Mac Pro? Could it be an external brick?


     


    I'm pretty sure it's internal.  


     


    Once you slide the top case off, there are four screws that take off another piece that's shaped like a section of a cylinder that contains the ports, and what looks like the power supply.  It's so tiny on the images though that one can't be sure. 

  • Reply 31 of 70
    ...only the 2013 MBA takes advantage of the higher speed.

    To that point, what do you think are the chances that existing Apple devices (e.g., my new late-2012 27" iMac) can be upgraded to 802.11ac?
  • Reply 32 of 70
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    Not to speak for the other person, but to me, it's irritating because it's like giving a "repairability score" on a Toaster or a Video tape recorder.  It's "scoring" something that's entirely irrelevant to the device.  It's like giving a car bad marks in a review for having an automatic transmission because of some misguided old-fashioned idea that only manual transmissions are what people want.  



    I'd agree if it were a generalist review from a generalist tech site, but the site is called iFixit.  They cater to an audience that wants repairability.  Maybe the mainstream audience doesn't care, but iFixit's audience does.


     


    Not sure why you're irritated by a specialist website catering for a specialist audience with a specialist angle.

  • Reply 33 of 70
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Not to speak for the other person, but to me, it's irritating because it's like giving a "repairability score" on a Toaster or a Video tape recorder.  It's "scoring" something that's entirely irrelevant to the device.  It's like giving a car bad marks in a review for having an automatic transmission because of some misguided old-fashioned idea that only manual transmissions are what people want.  

    Bingo.

    Gazoobee gets a gold star.
  • Reply 34 of 70

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post







    I replaced a 7200 rpm HDD with a SDD in my MBPro and it was like a tortoise v a hair. 


    Is that anything like the hair on my soap?

  • Reply 35 of 70
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    I'd agree if it were a generalist review from a generalist tech site, but the site is called iFixit.  They cater to an audience that wants repairability.  Maybe the mainstream audience doesn't care, but iFixit's audience does.


     


    Not sure why you're irritated by a specialist website catering for a specialist audience with a specialist angle.



     


    Mostly because they are always pushed forward by tech sites, tech bloggers, and self-appointed techie "masters" as being relevant and mainstream when they clearly aren't.  


     


    Probably too many words have already been wasted on this minor point however, so this is me shutting up ...

  • Reply 36 of 70

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Hence I wrote ... "I see this as space for a load of SSD in the future. What's the term ...'future proofing'?"


    Uh, no.  Not even close.  It's just Apple doing component sharing to control manufacturing costs.


     


    Just because you can physically stick an HD/SSD in there doesn't mean a damn thing when the electronics aren't there to support it.  I can't believe you people are this dense.

  • Reply 37 of 70

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post





    To that point, what do you think are the chances that existing Apple devices (e.g., my new late-2012 27" iMac) can be upgraded to 802.11ac?




    Just buy an 802.11ac USB adapter.  Not that difficult to solve.


     


    As for upgrading the internals....Name one time in Apple's history that they have made that possible.  You'd have better luck ordering a beer in Baghdad.

  • Reply 38 of 70
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    As for upgrading the internals....Name one time in Apple's history that they have made that possible.

    The introduction of 802.11n...

    Since the hardware was already in there and we didn't know.
  • Reply 39 of 70
    doh123doh123 Posts: 323member
    I seriously doubt even with 802.11ac speeds, that you'll get data transferred noticeably faster with a SSD vs a HDD... Wifi is still pretty slow.
  • Reply 40 of 70
    Even with 802.11ac speeds, you would not see a performance gain with an SSD vs a spinning drive. Other than reliability, there's no reason for an SSD, and since they are so much more expensive, a traditional HD would be a better choices for a wireless backup.
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